DPM Thapa leaving for five-day China visit

Kathmandu, December 19

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa is leaving for a five-day official visit of China on Wednesday.

Assistant Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deepak Dhital said DPM Thapa would hold bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing and discuss a range of bilateral issues.

During the visit, Nepal is expected to seal a trade and transit agreement with China as well as finalise the details for importing petroleum products from the northern neighbour on a commercial basis. Ministry of Supply and Commerce had worked on the issue of transit agreement with China in close coordination with the MoFA.

As a landlocked country, Nepal enjoys the right to have transit access up to the sea from its transit countries— India and China. However, Nepal has such agreement only with India.

Nepal and China had inked a framework agreement on fulfillment of at least one third of Nepal’s domestic petroleum needs from China in October. Nevertheless, the two sides couldn’t move ahead due to lack of a commercial agreement on fuel import.

MoFA officials also informed that the two sides would also likely to seal the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement during DPM Thapa’s visit as the Nepali side has already dispatched its draft to the Chinese side with its position and feedback.

Besides holding talks with the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang, DPM Thapa also hopes to meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. If he is not available, a senior Chinese leader would receive him, sources added.

Dhital said the details of the visit would be finalised once the DPM returns home from the United Kingdom tomorrow.